Matthew Jelalian 01

Matthew Jelalian poses for a portrait in the Daily Herald studio on Friday, March 6, 2015. SAMMY JO HESTER, Daily Herald

My wife and I are selling our townhome, or at least we’re trying to.

With two kids and two dogs, we spent a lot of time getting the place cleaned up and visitor-friendly.

We even rented carpet shampooing equipment and a black light to make sure that the place was as clean as we could possibly make it without burning the place down and starting again.

But despite our best efforts, we couldn’t have done it without the help of friends, family and neighbors.

We have a small yard and patio which I, admittedly, have failed to care for.

At a minimum, I work six days a week and sometimes I work very early in the morning or I work very late into the night.

At one point, when I had all of the necessary equipment to clear out the backyard, I got sick. And when I say sick, I don’t mean wimpy man-cold sick. I mean liquified insides, can-barely-stand sick.

At that point, we had to get the yard done, so we decided to put some feelers out to see if we could pay anyone in the neighborhood to do it. The next thing we knew, one of our neighbors came with her own equipment to help out.

Additionally, the number of friends and neighbors who have been willing to help us spread the word of our open house has been very impressive.

My friend, Chad Pritchard, even offered to donate some pizza from his restaurant, Fat Daddy’s, for our open house. He didn’t even run the idea by us. He just did it.

All in all, this whole experience has led me to believe that one of two things are true about Provo.

The first is that the people who live in Provo are incredibly generous with their time and talents. This is a belief I’ve held for a while now. There have been so many times when my family was in need and people came out to lend a hand.

For example, after my car crash, some neighbors came over and helped install a new showerhead that let me shower while sitting down. They also cleared our walkway of snow, which was an essential service considering how my wife was pregnant at the time and I could barely walk.

I also remember how much work Utah, and Provo’s residents specifically, did to help other people during the wildfires in California and Utah. The public and private efforts to help those in need were truly astounding.

Whether it’s babysitting, a state emergency or simply helping out a neighbor, Provo’s residents almost seem to almost always come through.

So it should come as no surprise to me that a neighbor would be willing to help us when we needed it.

But for some reason, every time I see the people of Provo being generous with their time and talents, it still surprises me.

The place my family is looking to move to is outside of Provo, and I think the people we’ve met here are going to be what I miss most about the city. I’m certainly not going to miss the construction that seems to surround my neighborhood or the BYU students running all over the grocery store on Mondays.

But there are so many good-hearted, kind, giving people who live in this city and I will miss them, assuming we can sell our place before the home we’re looking at needs the rest of the down payment.

The other option is that people hate me and my family, and we’re just super unaware.

It’s quite possible that Chad donated pizza because he disagrees with some of my more liberal tendencies and my neighbor helps with our yard because she saw it as a blight on her home’s value.

I suppose that it’s possible people are willing to help us advertise our open house simply because they want us out of their city.

All of this kindness people have shown us could really be them collectively saying, “Good riddance to bad rubbish.”

I don’t think that’s the case, but I’ve certainly been wrong before.

If you live in Provo, try to think of one thing you could do for a friend or neighbor this week. Find a way to serve someone around you who may need help.

Live up to that reputation Provo has garnered both in my mind and the minds of many others. And thank you to all of those who are already living up to that reputation.

And if you secretly hate me, or not-so-secretly hate me, please don’t help spread the word that we’re selling our place. The psychological trauma it would inflict on me to know that someone was willing to spend their time and resources to get me out of the city would just be unbearable. I couldn’t handle it.

And whatever you do, don’t devastate my ego by buying a perfectly good townhome.

That would just send me to a therapist for life.